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Surprise Fire Department plays major role in bringing in suspect in string of West Valley shootings

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-19 00:00:12-04

SURPRISE, AZ — Police agencies from multiple jurisdictions were on the hunt for a shooter in the West Valley, seemingly gunning down victims at random Thursday.

“Suspect vehicle will be a white Volkswagen Tiguan,” said a dispatcher over the police radio.

While law enforcement scrambled to search for the alleged shooter, it would be the Surprise Fire Department who helped direct them to their target.

“The vehicle was broadcasted throughout multiple different agencies and multiple jurisdictions, and our fire department, the surprise fire department actually got some of that information,” said Sgt. Tommy Hale with Surprise Police.

That’s when fire personnel spotted the vehicle, immediately relaying its whereabouts to police.

A short time later, the suspect, Ashin Tricarico was apprehended near 147th and Grand avenues without incident.

“We are able to actually turn on our radios to the tactical channel that allows us to listen to the police traffic, now they still have some encrypted channels we can’t hear but we can communicate with them, we can say 'hey we’re here' or 'where do you need us,'” said Captain Ashley Losch with Glendale Fire.

Captain Losch says the idea behind granting access to a frequency all could listen in on spawned out of one of our nation's most tragic days.

“Nine-eleven brought so many changes when it comes to radios and the need to communicate, and recognizing that we had agencies in those towers that couldn’t talk to each other,” said Losch.

Technology advances now bridging that gap more every day, and the benefits are playing out before our eyes in our own backyard, no doubt saving lives.

“Without that communication tool and without that being, without them being able to listen and communicate with one another, none of that would have happened and I think we averted a lot of tragedy because of that ability to communicate, and do it quickly and effectively,” said Losch.